Pete went bungy jumping, much against his better instincts and dread of heights. Still, the drive to accomplish new things and react to new experiences drove him to the edge of a 100m platform hanging over a canyon in New Zealand.
Waiting in line for the moment, your mind and body are screaming at you to stop, go back, go home, go to the pub. The instinct for survival is as its strongest, because the mind insists that by jumping you will die. To push past that instinct requires a monumental surge of courage, and a substantial twist of madness.
Ahead of the trembling, gibbering Irishman was an Englishman. A big, rugby playing Englishman seemingly without a care. Nonchalant to the extreme, on his first bungy jump and treating it as though he were about to step onto a bus. No shred of fear, dread or excitement. He chatted happily with the folk around him, who could hear nothing except the staccato thud of their heart beats and the flow of adrenaline seeping through their underpants.
The Englishman, yawning happily, took his place on the platform and smiled vainly at the onlookers. The two guys at the top, tying his bungy on and very experienced at this, exchanged sly glances. A nod and a wink passed between them, unnoticed by everyone except Pete the Irishman, whose senses were heightened to a point only experienced by those undergoing a near death experience. Everything in Technicolor, moving in exquisite slow motion.
Mr Fearless moved to the edge. He took no notice of the elastic around his ankles, didn't look at the drop below him, and lazily raised his hands in preparation for a dive into an infinity he regarded as a jump into his local pool.
The countdown: Five ........ Four ..........Three ...........Two ............One ..BUNGY!
With a smile of assurance Fearless fell forward.
At that optimum moment, when the point of no return had been reached and gravity gleefully plucked its victim off the platform, the two bungy technicians let out a howl of panic and screamed,
"NO! NOT YET ...COME BACK ...WE FORGOT TO ..."
The next three seconds in Fearless's life were not happy. At first he made no sound, except a sharp inhalation as all bravado turned to mush.
Half way down he emitted a scream not of this Earth and experienced an explosion of blind panic.
Of course, our two at the top were only kidding.
Asked afterwards why they pulled such a malicious stunt, they said it was simple. "Fearless just wasn't enjoying himself," they said. He'd paid his money and wasn't feeling anything. The idea of bungy is to face then overcome fear, while at the same time experience a massive surge of excitement.
They believe Fearless got his moneys worth.